July 15, 2012

WHY SHOULD WE FIGHT FOR YOU?

I'm seriously asking myself that.

Every day I'm asking myself that question a little bit more often. Why should we fight for you? The few who stood up, especially over the past 15 months, the few who had the courage, the naivety, the insanity to stand up and ask, in that classic Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist fashion... for a little bit more.

Not for ourselves, but for everybody.

Can we have a little more?

Some didn't have to do much. I certainly didn't. All I did, all I could do, all I have maybe done is to try to formulate for those who have no voice, to build messages from facts and dressing them in a funny way so that you may laugh about them before realizing that the truth is bitter and hangs in the back of your throat.

But this isn't about me.

I have hung to an ever-thinning thread of an increasingly more abstract hope that somehow, somewhere we can and should be better, despite all evidence to the contrary. And you may point to the thousands on Twitter, may point to the tens of thousands demonstrating all over the world and tell me not to worry, that people are waking up, that people care, that this will get better somehow.

You are wrong.

For the thousands on Twitter, the tens of thousands demonstrating are a statistical glitch in the greater picture that shows gluttony, complacency and what I can only call the worst humanity has to offer, has always offered and will always do so, the tribal mentality.

I'm not even talking about religion, race or gender, all of which are equally offenders against what the spirit of humanity should be (and I am talking about every religion, every race and every gender), no, I am talking about something much more vicious and something that has created a bigger but more subtle divide that most cling to, especially in those "civilized Western countries".

It's the illusion of status.

It's the delusion of status.

It's the idea that those who ask, those who shout, those who uncover and discover, who expose and fight, even if it is merely with words... are worth less. Are to be ridiculed, are to be spat upon, are to be put down.

It is the idea that you are... better.

This isn't about me.

This is about someone else. This is why I am thinking today. And yesterday. And why I am breaking my internet vow to not look, to not care, if only for a few days. This is why I am asking myself that question I put in the title.

This is about a young woman who calls herself Korgasm on Twitter.

She is a brave young woman. She is an intelligent young woman.

And what is worth more, she just may have done some of the most outstanding journalistic work that nobody cared about since Spider Jerusalem exposed shit on Transmetropolitan, and that was in fiction, you know, not reality.

She was there when Occupy Wall Street started and well-paid twats like Laurie Penny hadn't shown up yet, when commentators and pundits still thought OWS was some kind of new product they had to pimp.

She was there when Occupy Wall Street got ugly, and she recorded it, without having been told to do so, without having been paid to do so. She did so because she was a journalist in the best sense of the word.

She did so because that is what a journalist does.

She did so because she saw what happened and couldn't look away.

She did so because she couldn't look away and wanted to show you.

And when OWS spread through the United States, she chose to be on the ground, on those very battlefields in Oakland and New Orleans that nobody gave a fuck about.

She gave you the images of arrests, of police brutality, of a secretive war that is right now being waged in the USA, pushed into the shadows by the billions of campaign advertising and McDonald's commercials that pretend this is all business as usual.

And it is.

A business.

And it's the usual.

She went to the places where it hurts. In more than one way. Selling her own personal belongings one by one to have enough money, to never have enough money, just to give you the chance to see the things that the mainstream media covers up, to give you an unfiltered view from the street. Every street. Everywhere, USA.

She did so, because she believes in the truth.

She did so, because she is more of a reporter than I ever was.

Me, I am no longer a journalist.

I'm an analyst.

I'm a writer.

I'm the guy who tells you stories.

And so I'll tell you this one, about a young woman who cared when 99.9% of you didn't. Who didn't follow a dream, neither American nor otherwise, but who followed the truth when it was not opportune to do so, when in fact the truth was something that you only wanted to see sandwiched between the more important news, you know, like when is that new Apple iShit coming out?

And after all she went through, she found herself stranded in Oakland, with not enough money to make it back home. And since she wasn't paid, since she wasn't hired, there was no phone call to an editor to be made, no corporate credit card that got Anderson Cooper in and out of Egypt first class to then look very concerned about the plight of demonstrators, very concerned about the plight of the poor before returning to his luxury suite at a hotel.

She was stranded, still is stranded as I write this.

And she asked. Which is always a hard thing to do.

She asked for help. Not much. Just enough to get her home.

Weary, bruised and fatigued from seeing things, she asked.

And this is one of the things she got as a reply.

I wish I could say that this doesn't happen.

I wish I could say that the majority of people are better than this.

But they aren't. As I said above, those thousands on Twitter, those tens of thousands demonstrating, they are a small, even shrinking minority. The majority of people is exactly this. Mean. Bitchy. Selfish. And laughing at the plight of others, as long it doesn't hit them.

And I'm asking myself, each day more often.

Why should we fight for you?

Why should we ask for a better future... for you?

Why should we?

I'm running out of lies that I can tell myself.

I'm running out of reasons I can pretend exist.

You should be afraid.

Of the day I have run out of them.